CONTENTS
James Edward Flanders
Dallas' First Architect
THE CHURCHES OF FLANDERS,  1907-1912
The first building permit issued in Dallas in 1907 was issued on January the first and was issued for the construction of the Tabernacle Methodist Episcopal Church.  The building was constructed on the corner of Harwood and Ross.  The permit for the parsonage to be constructed on the same property had been issued a month earlier.  The building compares in form to the Mallalieu M. E. Church which was built two years later in 1909.  Like Mallalieu, it has a second covered entry on the left side of the building.  The Mission Style architecture is unusual for JEF.  He did use the style on several other occasions for churches but none were similar to this.

Flanders incorporated elements of the Prairie style in this design and he also retained the use of the Sullivanesque frieze.  The building exterior is primarily brick veneer but the entry tower is stucco.  This combined with the red tile roof gives the building it's Mission or Spanish influence.  Although top-heavy in appearance, the elements of this building work well together and present a harmonious exterior.  The cost of the building, with furnishings, was $35,000.
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TABERNACLE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1907
Dallas, Texas
THE ROMANESQUE REVIVAL DESIGN OF THE ANSON METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH was a significant stylistic change for a Flanders church design.


Postcard illustration, Morrow & Hudson, Publishers, Anson, Texas
ERVAY STREET METHODIST CHURCH
1908ca
Dallas, Texas
Construction of the extant Anson Methodist church began in 1908 and it was completed the following year.  The floor plan and interior retained many of the elements present in earlier Flanders churches.  However, the exterior demonstrated a new approach.  The horizontal emphasis of the Prairie Style combined with Romanesque styled arches in the entries, windows, and in the dominant tower gave the church a simplified appearance. In the two gabled walls in the sanctuary, a Palladian window effect resulted from the placement of a rose window above the center section.  Taking heed from misfortunes that befell several JEF churches, such as McKinney and Cleburne, where towers were destroyed by high winds, the upper section of the main tower was removed. 
TRAVIS STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1909
Sherman, Texas
FLANDERS' RENDERING OF THE TRAVIS STREET
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SHERMAN


MALLALIEU METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1909
Dallas, Texas
EXTANT
According to a brief history of the church in the possession of the current owner of the structure, John Bellamy, construction of the church was begun in 1904.  The same account also states that the congregation met in the basement for several years.  Another account states that the foundation for the structure was laid in 1906 and that the frame and roof were completed in 1908 with the cornerstone being laid in July of that year.  A building permit was issued on May 14, 1908 with an additional permit issued the following May and a final permit "to complete Mallalieu M E Church" was issued on July 3, 1909.  The cornerstone is dated 1909, and the history cited above states that the "brickwork was completed in November of 1909 at a cost of $17,000 all inclusive".  This figure is the exact total of the three building permits.  The most likely scenario that fits these accounts would also explain the difference in the style of this building compared to other Flanders churches.  The basement was probably built in 1904 and after the delay of several years, as the first account states, Flanders was called in to design a church to be built on an existing basement structure.  Although the building has not been definitively linked to Flanders, several traditions name him as the architect.  The building exhibits many of his characteristics including; the use of the Akron plan with the moveable wall (in this case, moving to the side). It exhibits the Prairie Style elements, the same pew and pulpit arrangement including the sloping floor, and the same materials used by JEF in other churches such as St. Louis pressed brick and stucco gables. The exterior of the building is in relatively good condition but much of the woodwork is in a state of deterioration. 

This is the only known extant Flanders building in Dallas with the original exterior - the only other known extant structures are two buildings of the state fair which were remodeled in the art deco style for the centennial exposition held there in 1936.

The Methodists of Mangum began making plans for a new church building shortly after the arrival of their new pastor, the Rev. J. S. Lamar, In 1907.  According to copies of several newspapers recovered when the cornerstone was opened in 1983, the plans were announced on March 28th, 1908 and construction was scheduled to start by June 1.  The architects drawings were displayed in the window of the First National Bank.  The cost of the building was estimated to be $25,000.  The cornerstone was laid on September 1st.

The octagonal roofs with metal fishscale shingles on the tower were unusual for Flanders at the time but he did use these on two other church buildings completed the following year, 1910.  These were the Methodist churches in Rosebud, Texas and in Marlin, Texas.  The extant church in Marlin was built from the same plan as Mangum.

1984 marked the bicentennial of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America and in conjunction with the celebration of the event, the congregation of the Mangum church began an extensive restoration of the building beginning in April, 1983.  Part of this project included putting lights in the attic to illuminate the stained glass panels in the ceiling, originally lit by skylights that were covered over.  A member of the congregation, June Summers, prepared an excellent history of the church, documenting the remodeling as well as reprinting some of the early newspaper accounts of the building.

The church was documented for consideration for the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and the nomination form declared that the "prominent features (of) the church include the two towers on the south side that have copper colored plaster-of-paris rinceaus and octagonal fish scale roofs.  The entrances at the two towers and on the east side have flared eaves for an oriental temple look . . . The ceiling with its' metal tiles and crisscross wooden beams is unusual for any building.  The hanging metal lamps, wood trim, pews, alter rail, doors, floor, and second level balcony are original . . . The church is one of the oldest, most original, and most architecturally unique building in all of Southwestern Oklahoma."

FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH SOUTH - 1909
Mangum, Oklahoma
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CONTENTS
The design of the entry of this building can also be seen in the Waxahachie Methodist church although the Ervay Street church is a much smaller building.  The squared portico extends from the rounded wall between the two towers and provides a larger covered exterior space then is usually seen on JEF's churches. This edifice was dedicated in December, 1913, immediately after retiring the debt on the $35,000 building.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE ERVAY STREET METHODIST CHURCH was begun in 1908 at 2900 South Ervay Street at Corinth.


TABERNACLE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH was attended by members of JEF's family for many years.

Postcard illustration, publisher unknown
THIS UNUSUAL ILLUSTRATION  was recovered from the cornerstone of the church when it was opened in 1983. The drawing differs in many ways from the building as it is now. The drawing does show the "Flanders and Flanders" name.

Illustration courtesy of the First United Methodist Church, Mangum, Oklahoma.
An undated newspaper account, probably from the early 50's, shows the building after a $15,500 remodeling undertaken when the church was heavily damaged by fire.  The remodeling included a new roof.  The central tower of the building was not rebuilt to it's original height and is actually, because of the reduced slope of its' roof, subordinate to the shorter tower.  Interior renovations included a new ceiling as well as refinishing of the walls and pews.

The church suffered fire damage again in January, 1964 and again three months later in March.  In an unusual decision, the congregation then voted to accept property in northwest Dallas bequeathed to the Dallas Board of Church Extension of the Methodist Church by Mrs. W.E. Schrieber as a memorial to her husband.  Leaving an area that was once a fashionable residential area, the congregation chose to make the trek across Dallas to a location at the corner of Welch Road and Rickover Drive and change their name to the Schrieber Memorial Methodist Church, in honor of their benefactor.
ANSON METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1909
Anson, Texas
EXTANT
In 1909, Flanders was commissioned to design the Travis Street M. E. Church, South in Sherman.  This was Flanders third building on Travis Street. Just down the street was the Binkley Hotel, built in 1877, and the Central Christian Church, constructed in 1908.  The close proximity of Central Christian was possibly a motivating factor in JEF's first use of a Neo-classical exterior.

This was JEF's first domed edifice and the cost to build it was nearly $50,000.  The entry was in the form of a quarter circle and its' entablature rested on four Ionic columns that framed three Greek Revival pedimented entries at the top of the steps. He borrowed this concept from one of his earlier designs but here it played a commanding role.  It was the focal point of this symmetrical plan and was flanked by pedimented gables on both sides. 

The church was built on the corner of Travis and Mulberry streets and was an impressive landmark in the town until 1955 when it was vacated for larger quarters. The stained glass windows, as was often the case, became part of the new building
THE TRAVIS STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF SHERMAN was JEF's first neoclassical church edifice and the first domed edifice.

Postcard Illustration, publisher unknown
THE MALLALIEU METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, at the corner of Haskell Avenue and Cabell Drive,  was later known as the Haskell Avenue Methodist Church and then as Memorial Methodist Church.

Illustration courtesy of John Bellamy
The Mallalieu Methodist Episcopal church at the corner of Haskell Avenue and Cabell Drive, probably named in honor of the Methodist bishop at the time, Rev. Mr. Willard Francis Mallalieu, was later known as the Haskell Avenue Methodist Church and then as the Memorial Methodist Church.  The true history of this church, which is now a privately owned building, is buried somewhere in a collection of conflicting bits of information.
A RECENT PHOTOGRAPH OF THE MALLALIEU METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH illustrates the details of the entry.

Photograph by Jim Willis
THE FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF MANGUM as seen in this recent photograph is in excellent condition both inside and out.

Photograph by Jim Willis
EXTANT
FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1910
Marlin, Texas
EXTANT , RTHL
Although the building committee for this church held their first meeting on May 22, 1908, it was not until February of the following year that they accepted Flanders' sketches as the design for their building.  By May, JEF had submitted his plans and received a partial payment of $300 for them.  The committee then agreed upon a motion to advertise for bids for the building's foundation.  On October 11th, the bid of $17,961.43 for construction of the building itself, tendered by builder J. A. Phipps, was accepted and attorneys were engaged to prepare a contract.  On March 24, 1910, the cornerstone was laid and the following September the building was completed at a total cost of $34,009. This figure included $5000 for the site but did not include JEF's fee.  The dedication of the edifice, indicating that the building was free of debt, was held in 1911.  Although the proper designation for the church was still "Methodist Episcopal Church South", the members of the committee were sensitive to the growing movement towards unification of the denomination and the cornerstone of the building names the church as, simply, "First Methodist Church". 

Brazos River bottom red clay was used to make the bricks for the building and the elegant painted and stained glass windows were imported from Italy.  Plaster and terra-cotta panels were used on the upper portions of the towers and plaster was also used in the apex of the gable.  The roofing material was metal fishscale shingles.  The Methodist church constructed in Mangum, Oklahoma the year before was built from identical plans.  This is the only known case where JEF used the same plans, without any variations, for two separate buildings.  

The extant First United Methodist Church, on the corner of Coleman and Bartlett streets in Marlin, is one of the finest surviving Flanders churches

A VIEW OF THE MAIN SANCTUARY FROM THE ADJOINING ROOM shows the semi-circular arrangement of the pews and the pulpit area.  Doors from the vestibules in the base of each of the three towers open into the sanctuary in the three corners opposite the pulpit.

Photo by Jim Willis
THE OPENING BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES OF THE SANCTUARY can be closed by doors that retract to the sides.  Also visible in this photograph is the balcony in the room adjoining the main sanctuary.

Photo by Jim Willis
THE UNUSUAL CEILING DESIGN is made up of crossed beams with metal tiles cladding the areas between them.  The sections adjoining the gabled walls are taller to capture the light from the three small windows above, creating an illuminating effect from the ceiling itself.  The gothic windows accent the vertical.

Photo by Jim Willis
THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF MARLIN appears identical to the church in Mangum, Oklahoma as seen in the comparison of this photograph to the one above.

Illustration courtesy of the First United Methodist Church of Marlin
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF ROSEBUD - 1911
Rosebud, Texas
An appraisal of the building done the previous December listed the value of the building at $11,000 and described it as "under construction, about 65% finished."  The building measured sixty-seven feet, six inches by ninety-three feet. As with most Flanders churches, "the sanctuary and Sunday school departments (were) arranged to be thrown together when occasion requires…"

The building served the church for thirty-eight years until it burned on February 2, 1949.  According to a brief church history, "all the church records were destroyed by this disastrous fire, only one song book was saved."  But it was later discovered that an old fishing tackle box containing many original documents relating to the construction of the building was in a bank vault at the time of the fire.  As a result, the construction of the Rosebud church is the best documented of all of the JEF churches.  The documents begin with a property title examination dated November, 1908.  The churches application to the national office of the M.E.C.S. in Louisville, Kentucky caught the board at a time when funds were low and no financial aid was granted for the construction.  A number of the documents dealt with specific suppliers as the church attempted to handle much of this type of work with their own resources. The "oriental style" metal shingles where purchased in May, 1910 from Cortright Metal Roofing of Chicago.  These were shipped by rail from their stock in Galveston the following October.  Two handwritten bids for furniture and seating were submitted - one on the back of a piece of stationery from a local hotel but the purchase was eventually awarded to E. H. Stafford Mfg. Co., also of Chicago.  Delivery was in February, 1911. A later letter from the Stafford company detailed how repairs to a defective altar rail could be made by a local carpenter.

Bids for the electrical work were secured in February, 1911 from firms in Waco and Marlin.  One, cursory bid - a handwritten paragraph, quoted $316 and the other, a two page detailed, typed bid with a cover letter, came from the Schimming-Eddins Company of Marlin and quoted $219.  The Dallas Art Glass Company supplied the windows for the church in April for just under $1000.  Their pencil sketch showing the placement of the windows also illustrates the floor plan of the building.  In November, 1911, with winter on them, the church received a bid from a Waco heating firm for heating equipment. At the same time, Flanders responded to an inquiry from the pastor recommending two other firms as possible suppliers of the heating equipment.  One of these, Moncrief Furnace and Manufacturing of Dallas, eventually supplied the equipment but not until the following year.  Their quotation was submitted in June, 1912. The contract followed in August and an invoice for $400 was dated in October.

The church and property were appraised for $16,000 on September 28, 1911 and that month it was insured for $7500 - $6000 on the building, $1250 on furniture and fixtures, and $250 on musical instruments.  The carrier was the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The pastor and congregation of the Rosebud church were a resourceful group that evidently spent the first winter in their new church without adequate heating.  Their church was a reflection of their unyielding dedication.
Construction of the Rosebud church began in 1910 but it was not until the following March that the church engaged the contractor T. M. Sapp to complete the church for $6500.  Much of the work on the building had already been done and many of the materials had already been bought. The contract specifies that Sapp was to provide all labor and materials to complete the building but several exclusions were listed including; electrical, heating, skylight, sanding, or painting the metal shingles on the roof.  The windows also were already on the site.
THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF ROSEBUD as it appeared in a photograph in The Rosebud News, probably in the early 1940's.

Illustration courtesy of the First United Methodist Church of Rosebud
THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF ROSEBUD as it appeared in a Flanders drawing published in the Texas Christian Advocate in 1910.

Illustration courtesy of Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
TWO DOCUMENTS FROM THE CHURCH ARCHIVES hint at how business was transacted at the time.  The sketch below show the placement of the windows and was prepared by the supplier of the windows, Dallas Art Glass, Co.  The letter to the right is from Flanders & Flanders, responding to a request from the pastor for recommendations for a supplier of heating equipment.  The letter is signed "WSF".  This is JEF's son Waite. (The illustration on the letterhead shows the Flanders' Los Flanders Apartments  on the corner of Pearl Street and Jackson Street in Dallas.  The house to the left of the apartments is JEF's home.)

Copy of sketch and the original of the letter are both courtesy of the First United Methodist Church of Rosebud
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1910
Wichita Falls, Texas
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF WICHITA FALLS is JEF's second church in a neoclassical style, following the 1909 Travis Street MECS of Sherman, Texas.   This edifice, unlike the Travis Street church, is an asymmetrical design.

Postcard illustration, C.T. Co., Chicago
In 1909, Flanders broke away from his Akron based plans and designed at least two neoclassical domed churches.  These buildings were both designed for corner locations and the Wichita Falls church retained the effective design features of the entry of the Sherman edifice.  Some characteristics of this asymmetrical design were seen three years later in the Corpus Christi M. E. Church South.  An unusual feature of JEF's domed churches were dormers.  Just as his towers became a signature characteristic of his other churches, eight dormers spread around the circumference of the dome is a feature found on all of these later churches.

In 1909, the members of the church sold two parcels of land they had received as a gift twenty-four years earlier and purchased property on the southwest corner of Tenth and Lamar Streets.  They began construction of a new church and parsonage.  Flanders likely provided the plans for the parsonage also.  AN annex was added to the building nine years later in 1919.  But in only another nine years, in September, 1928, the members of the church moved into still another new edifice.  The Flanders building was sold in 1931. 
ST. JOHN'S METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH SOUTH - 1910
Stamford, Texas
Trinity Methodist Church (1903) of Dallas has often been termed Flanders' masterpiece.  The tragedy of it's loss in 1983 is tempered only slightly by the fact that a nearly identical exterior can still be seen in the extant St. John's Methodist Church of Stamford, Texas.  This building exhibits many of the same imposing Prairie Style characteristics and features used for Trinity.  In 1903, when Trinity was under construction in Dallas, the Methodists of Stamford completed their first meeting place, a small frame building.  Within only seven years, construction of another building - JEF's design - was underway.  The work proceeded slowly as the congregation worked to keep the funding adequate.  In 1912, the building suffered a direct hit by a tornado.  It took two years to complete the exterior of the building and funding then became an even greater problem.  The congregation began meeting in the new building in February, 1912, but it was ten more years of start-and-stop construction before the interior of the building was finished.

A 1909 account of the planned structure listed the features of the building:







EXTANT , RTHL, NRHP
THIS EXCELLENT DETAILED SKETCH OF ST. JOHN'S
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF STAMFORD was drawn by a local artist.  From this perspective, the detail of the building are virtually identical to Trinity MECS in Dallas. 

Illustration courtesy of St. Johns United Methodist Church
"…(The) basement has all modern conveniences - ladies parlors, leisure room, primary department, Baraca and Philathea class rooms, motor and heating plant. Main floor has pastor's study, Sunday-school assembly room, choir vestibule, men's room, with auditorium seating of 1290.  Balcony runs entirely round the auditorium and seats 400.  There are twenty-four separate classrooms, art glass dome effect ceiling and four vestibule entrances…"
The mention of the "art glass dome effect" is important as the interior of the sanctuary has been completely remodeled and the art glass dome appears to be the only original interior element retained.  The original specifications for the church, written in 1909, are still in the church archives.  This document contains several hand-written changes initialed by JEF, including the approval to use "local gravel cement".
THE "FLANDERSIAN TOWER" - THE MAIN TOWER OF ST. JOHN'S is identical in most elements to the main tower of Trinity MECS in Dallas.  It's a Prairie Style example of the towers that became a Flanders signature feature.

Photograph by Jim Willis
THE ENTRY OT THE VESTIBULE IN THE BASE OF THE MAIN TOWER exhibits JEF's use of the horizontal elements of the Prairie Style. 

Photograph by Jim Willis
JEF'S RENDERING OF THE CHURCH appeared in an August, 1909 issue of the Texas Christian Advocate when plans for the new building were announced.

Illustration courtesy of Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas
JEF'S SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE STAMFORD CHURCH shows the same illustration (The Los Flanders apartments) that JEF was using on his letterhead at the time. (See Rosebud MECS, below.)

Illustration courtesy of St. John's United Methodist Church.
PILOT POINT METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1910
Pilot Point, Texas
The Pilot Point church is a modest version of this neo-classical style used by JEF from about 1909 through 1913.  This building, described as a "stately domed cream brick church with a large sanctuary with handsome pews and stained glass windows, was constructed in 1910.  It burned in 1984. The drawing here is a copy of JEF's rendering of the Pilot Point Methodist Church appeared in the Texas Christian Advocate on August 25, 1910.  On June 15th, Flanders & Flanders had advertised in the Commercial Recorder that they were receiving bids for construction of the Pilot Point church.
JEF'S RENDERING OF THE PILOT POINT METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH as it a appeared in the Texas Christian Advocate.

Illustration courtesy of Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas
McKENZIE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1911
Honey Grove, Texas
EXTANT
McKENZIE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF HONEY GROVE as it neared completion in 1911.  No landscaping had been done yet and a workman's sawhorse can be seen at the base of the tower.

Postcard illustration, Black & Little Publishers, Honey Grove, Texas

The extant McKenzie Methodist Episcopal Church South of Honey Grove, Texas constructed in 1910, is listed as being designed by "Flanders and Flanders".  The contractor for the building was a local builder, Jacob Fein.  Born in Dahlen, Germany in 1863, Fein worked as a stone mason on the Texas state capital building and arrived in Honey Grove in 1884.  He constructed many of the town's buildings and on several of them, including this church. He used limestone from the Floyd Quarry nearby.

Stone from this quarry was used in the first McKenzie church built in 1881 and the same stones were used again for the Flanders church -probably a contributing factor in the building's unique design.  One account of the construction of this church refers to a "rebuilding" of the old church so it is possible that Flanders encountered other restrictions from the previous structure.  The church is built of pressed red brick and the salvaged, rusticated stone was used for the lower course of the building and for the two towers.  Sharply contrasting white cast stone used around the gothic windows, for quoins, atop the buttresses and for string courses at several heights along each wall resulted in JEF's most polychromatic work since the 1882 First Presbyterian church of Dallas.  The alter rail and pews from the earlier building were also used in the new church but have since been replaced.  The first service was held on January 29, 1911 and Bishop Edwin Monzon conducted the dedication service the following year on March 31, 1912.

McKENZIE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF HONEY GROVE is a departure in style from other Flanders churches, particularly in the use of rusticated stone and in the design of the hexagonal tower roofs.

Photograph by Jim Willis
THIS SIMPLE QUEEN ANNE ENTRY  at the rear of the building leads to the pastors study.

Photograph by Jim Willis
THE SANCTUARY DIFFERS FROM OTHER FLANDERS CHURCHES  in  that the moveable walls are more like windows than doors.  They don't extend completely to the floor and the mechanism (in the photo to the left) shows that they roll up rather than lift into the wall.

Photographs by Jim Willis
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1911
Hubbard, Texas
EXTANT, RTHL
THE UNUSUAL DESIGN OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF HUBBARD retained JEF's twin tower front elevation and his use of Prairie Style elements.  It is, otherwise, unlike any other Flanders church.

Postcard illustration, E. C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee
The contract for construction of the extant Methodist Episcopal Church South of Hubbard was awarded to L.J. Kauhl in November, 1910 for a bid of $20,000.  Construction began just over a month later and by the following July the exterior was almost complete.  The members expected a completion date of September 1.  The church was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1991.

Two, very small quarter round balconies are in both rear corners of the church.  The rear wall extends completely across the back of the sanctuary but can be lifted by turning a single small crank.  Catwalks in the attic permit the lowering of light fixtures so bulbs can be changed. The church contains over a hundred stained glass windows.
TWO PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FRONT OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF HUBBARD illustrates the emphasis on the horizontal elements and the complexity of the geometric details of the design.

Photographs by Jim Willis
THE FUNCTIONALITY OF THE AKRON PLAN'S MERGING OF TWO AREAS TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF THE MAIN SANCTUARY was retained in JEF's inclusion of the moveable wall across the back of the sanctuary.   Later construction closing in this area renders the wall useless now.

Photograph by Jim Willis
ST. PAUL METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1912
Abilene, Texas
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF CORPUS CHRISTI - 1912
Corpus Christi, Texas
In the latter months of 1908, Bishop Joseph S. Key of North Texas proposed that the congregation of the Methodist church of Abilene divide themselves and organize a new church on the north side of the city.  The following February, the Reverend Abe Mulkey, whose name continually surfaces in the history of Methodism in north Texas, provided the impetus for the construction of the St. Paul sanctuary. At the conclusion of a revival, Reverend Mulkey called for the construction of a befitting church for the Methodists of Abilene.  He continued his appeal with solicitations of donations for that purpose, receiving sizeable pledges reported to total $18,000. 

In June, Flanders plans were accepted with some revisions and before the month was out, excavation for the basement was underway.  The estimated cost of the building was $32,000.  The foundation for the building was completed by October and it wasn't until then that the contract for the construction of the sanctuary was let to McBride and Lindsey.  On November 7th, Flanders' drawing of the building appeared in the local newspaper, the Abilene Daily Reporter, announcing the construction of St. Paul Methodist Church. It was the first time that the name of the church was used, and the notice also announced that the cornerstone had been laid the previous week.

The members of the new congregation conducted their services in the Carnegie Library until May, 1910 when they began to meet in the basement of the new church.  By November, the walls and dome were completed but it was still another two years before the sanctuary could be used.  The first services were held during the Methodist's annual conference of 1912.  Work went on all night to get the building ready for the conference.  Stoves were purchased the next day to warm the sanctuary, cold from an unexpected change in the weather. 

Another sad fact had manifested itself by this time.  During 1909 and 1910, the time of the construction of the church, Abilene was suffering a drought but, in 1911, rains filled an underground river that flows through part of downtown Abilene and it was discovered that the church was built just above it.  Water flooded the new basement and pumps were required to keep the water out.  The continued expense of the new construction left little money to deal with the problem and flooding plagued the church for many years. 

It was another November when St. Paul passed the last milestone in the construction of it's new building.  On November 9, 1919, the church retired the debt on the prolonged and arduous project and the dedication services were finally held.  The church was used for forty years until it was replaced by a new sanctuary built across the street from it in 1952.  The JEF church was razed to make a parking lot shortly after the new building was occupied.

THE SANCTUARY OF ST. PAUL'S METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF ABILENE  was constructed on the corner of North Fifth and Beech Streets.  The domed edifice was a landmark in the town and its' architecture was a source of pride for many of the townspeople.

Postcard illustration,  Published by T. F. Jones, Box 645, Abilene, Texas
FLANDERS DRAWING  OF ST. PAUL'S METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF ABILENE  as it appeared in the Abilene Daily Reporter and in the Texas Christian Advocate in 1909.

Illustration courtesy of Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
THIS VERY POOR QUALITY ILLUSTRATION is included here only because it hints at the stately appearance of the building as it was actually constructed.

Illustration courtesy of The Abilene Daily Reporter
THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH - 1910
Vernon, Texas
The Methodist Episcopal Church South of Vernon, locate on the corner of Deaf Smith and Pease street, was completed in 1910.  When Bishop James Atkins conducted the opening services on September 25th, he described the edifice as the "best church plant in the Northwest Texas Conference."

The building measured ninety-four feet by eighty-seven feet, with the sanctuary occupying the main floor along with twelve Sunday school rooms. The two areas could be joined together to increase the size of the sanctuary when additional space was needed.  The lower level contained the kitchen, auditorium, a small gymnasium, shower baths, and the heating plant.  The domed roof with eight hipped roof dormers made the building a local landmark. This $40,000 church was used until 1949 when a new structure, using the windows from this church, was built.
THE 1910 BUILDING FOR THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF VERNON, constructed on the corner of Deaf Smith and Pease Streets, was the second church JEF designed for this congregation.

Illustration courtesy of  the First Methodist Church of Vernon
IN THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF CORPUS CHRISTI the walls of the dome are octagonal and the building is asymmetrical.  Both are variations from other JEF neoclassical church designs.

Postcard illustration, publisher unknown
The plans for the Methodist Episcopal Church South of Corpus Christi were drawn in 1910 but records indicate that the building was not completed until 1912.  The building represented JEF's southernmost location.  An announcement in the Texas Christian Advocate said that the building measured seventy-one feet by one hundred and twenty-three feet.  The main entrance was:

"… to be at corner (sic) through large vestibule. There will be a basement under the entire structure, containing rooms for Philather and Baraca classes, primary department, a large social hall, serving-room, gymnasium, fireproof vault, reading room, toilets and heating plant.  On the main floor will be the sanctuary which, with the galleries, will have a seating capacity of 1000.  On this floor will also be the Sunday-school auditorium, with 14 modern class-rooms properly arranged so all will be in full view of the superintendent's platform.  The Sunday-school will be entirely separate and distinct from the sanctuary.

Desirably located on this floor will be a choir room, women's parlor with lavatory accessories, and Sunday-school library.  On the gallery floor will be the Pastors study and trustee's room.  The design of the building will be classical, surmounted by a dome, behind which will be a roof arbor for summer meetings.  Special care has been exercised in arranging the building to obtain the fullest benefit of the gulf breezes.

This edifice, located on Mann Street between Mesquite and Chaparral streets, was used until 1962 when a new building was erected in another location.  Afterwards, the building was used by the Del Mar College and was later razed.
FLANDERS RENDERING OF THE  METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH OF CORPUS CHRISTI  as it appeared in the Texas Christian Advocate on July 7th, 1910.  In the original, the Flanders & Flanders name can be seen in the title block.

Illustration courtesy of Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist Library, Dallas, Texas
CHAPTER EIGHT - PAGE 3 of 4
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH  - 1912
Fulton, Missouri
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN FULTON MISSOURI is the only known Flanders church outside of Texas or Oklahoma

Postcard illustration published by C. A. Patton, Fulton, Missouri
Construction of the extant First Christian Church of Fulton, Missouri began in 1911 and the church was dedicated the following year.  It is most similar to JEF's Methodist Episcopal Church South constructed in Corpus Christi, Texas the same year.  These are the two most extreme north, south locations for any JEF buildings. In fact, the two locations are almost exactly a thousand miles apart.  Fortunately his office in Dallas was near the midpoint.     

The description of the church in the NHRP record notes the octagonal dome and the cornices on the dome and on the rectangular wings and porches.  It also states that the balconies, alter, pews, pulpit, and choir loft are original wood.  The church historian describes the building as being "faced with Iowa granite brick and trimmed with Carthage stone". The cost of the building was said to be $65,000. (Note:  This church has just been added and I will add more to this record as it becomes available.)
EXTANT, NRHP (Part of Downtown Fulton Historic District.)
INTERIOR PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN FULTON MISSOURI show that the church is built on a variation of the Akron plan with additional sanctuary seating coming from the area behind the sanctuary as JEF did in the extant Methodist church in Hubbard, Texas.  This is also the only illustration of the interior dome construction in a Flanders church.

Photographs courtesy of Angel Duncan, Secretary of he First Christian Church of Fulton, Missouri
The Hubbard church is an important one because it shows a break from Flanders use of the traditional Akron plan and the exterior is unlike any other known Flanders churches.